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Grilled Chicken

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I want to do some chicken on the grill but with my best critic being pregnant I need to find a way to make it REALLY moist. Here is what I have so far for an idea...I am thinking something to this extent, Marinade is some worchestershire and..... then wrap in tin foil maybe with some fresh garlic, butter, lemon pepper, etc. Any other ideas??
post #2 of 16
Well if the skins on you can stick butter under it so when it grills or cooks itll baste itself and the skin will keep the butter in and keep it nice and moist. If your grilling it for the marks then in the oven then you can put in in foil with those ingredents.

Ive found that citrus goes really nice with chicken as does thyme. dont use rosemerry thatll over power.

If you take a whole chicken and put it in the oven, butter under the skin and tons of lemons, oranges, limes in the cavitey along with a crap load of herbs.

Make a compound butter to stick under the skin (citrus juice, zest, herbs salt and pepper).

Roast the **** out of it, Itll be moist, use the pan drippings for a gravey, some mashed. youve got yourself a healthy yummy meal. (more healthier then other things :lol:).

try it. let me know
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
post #3 of 16
If you're a little more specific about what kind of grill, which pieces you're cooking, whether they're skin on or off, bone in or out, etc., I can actually help you without throwing fifteen recipes against the ****house wall and hoping one sticks. You're not pregnant. No one's going to cater to you. No one's afraid of your moods. Did I mention you look radiant?

Here are some general thoughts:

The basic answer to your question is that chicken -- breasts especially -- should be marinated in acid and/or brine, and must not be overcooked.

Worcestershire sauce is fine for flavor, but won't help you keep your chicken from drying out. Either marinate your chicken in buttermilk -- which is magic when it comes to chicken -- plus a few simple seasonings, some other acid marinade -- spedies for instance, or brine it before cooking.

Many meats and fish are best grilled at high heat. Chicken on the bone is not among them. Boneless, skinless chicken sometimes is and sometimes is not.

What kind of grill? If it's charcoal tell me if it's a kettle, or some other covered shape, or just an hibachi? What do you have to work with?

Got skewers?

Have you ever beer-canned a chicken?

Chicken thigh is one of the most versatile and forgiving proteins on the planet. There's almost no way it can't be cooked and come out well. You have to really abuse them to dry them out. Cheaper than breasts, too. Interested?

If you're planning on wrapping and cooking the chicken in foil there's no point in grilling them -- unless you're giving a Boy Scout cooking lesson or something.

Help me help,
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Will that help LOL!
post #5 of 16
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are real easy to screw up on the grill. Due to having a thick end and a skinnier, tapered end one half or the other usually isn't cooked right. And they are fairly lean, prone to drying out quickly. Skin on breasts with rib bones are a bit more forgiving. Indirect heat works well, as putting breasts right on the hot spot can char the outside, dry out the "tail" and leave the center undone. Slower, even heat is a better bet.

Brining is basically soaking the chicken parts in salt water, about 1 cup salt per gallon of water, for an hour or two. Usually the brine has various flavor additions, like brown sugar, cloves, jalapenos, apple cider, garlic, juniper berries, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaf, soy sauce - well, not all these things at the same time, but combinations that fit your tastes. I imagine there are several poultry brine recipes on these forums one could find with a suitable search.

Thighs are great, as BDL says, a higher fat content which leads to more moist results, and in my opinion they have better flavor than breasts. What I often do is grill the thighs skin on for a while, then pull them off the grill and strip off the skin to reduce the final fat content, with little sacrifice in flavor. Put the naked parts back on the grill for the final minutes of cooking, a good time to add some Q sauce if that's what you want.

One method I like is to soak the thighs, wing portions or legs in a sort of almost teriyaki type sauce. Roughly 2 parts soy sauce ( ponzu is good here, too ) 1 part rice vinegar, 1 part sherry, 1 part water, a few large cloves of crushed garlic, some freshly chopped ginger root and some brown sugar to taste. Hot red pepper flakes or a good splash of Sriracha are good here, if you don't mind a little extra zing.

Throw the chicken parts into the mix, let soak for an hour or so. Grill over moderate, indirect heat for however long it takes the size of your selected parts to cook, difficult to give a more exact time here.

How about whole game hens instead of chicken?

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #6 of 16
My question is, what's the point of grilling if the food is wrapped in foil the whole time?

It's not grilled at that point so there's probably a much simpler way to cook it inside.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #7 of 16
Have to agree - it's really difficult to grill a really lean piece of skinless chicken breast and expect it to stay moist.

If you really want to keep it moist then think about poaching it, then finishing it in the pan or the grill.

Try rolling a breast around some thyme and butter, rolling tightly in cling-film to seal, poach for 8-10 minutes then remove the wrap and seal the outside in a pan, or on a grill....I'd still be tempted to leave the skin on for more flavour.
post #8 of 16
Simple. Don't overcook it.
post #9 of 16
Words to live by. :roll:Simple. And yet so difficult. People (and restaurant cooks for that matter) do not want to serve underdone chicken, so they go too far the other way. If the FDA recommends 160F as the minimum safe temperature for chicken, before you can say "huh? wha the?" everyone's writing 170. Then you go to your mom's for dinner and she want's to be extra-safe and besides you were late and she held the chicken so it would be hot, and the breast went to 180F. And you have to eat it, but there's nothing to drink on the table ...

Unfortunately chicken breast cooked past 165 is "stick to your teeth" overdone. Bad chicken is as drier than a good martini.

post #10 of 16
Two more simple words.

Carry over.
post #11 of 16
Here's how to grill a boneless, skinless chicken breast.

Chicken breast presents a bit of a problem in that the difference between "safe" and "overdone" is very fine. The appropriate degree of doneness for the white meat of commercial poultry is medium / medium-well. That is the meat's texture has changed completely from "underdone" to cooked, but all the juices remain. That is right around 160F on a meat thermometer. Unfortunately chicken breasts are usually too thin for an accurate reading.

Returning to the safe poultry issue, note that while 160F is your target temperature, 140F is the safety point, and 150F is heap plenty safe. However, the fear of contaminated chicken is so great that "authorities" keep escalating the safe temperature. The idea is that unless they're triple redundant you won't be careful. However, 160 is safe.

Back to the thick thin thing -- You have to even that bad girl out. You'll thin the thick and, if you're really into it, trim the thin (which isn't absolutely necessary). The easiest ways to thin the thickest part is to pound it a little; or to cut a horizontal slit along its length so it can be opened like a book. Either method is fine.

The cutting method is called, "butterflying." Start by laying the breast on the board with the thin part facing your off hand and the thick part facing your cutting hand. Place the palm of your off hand on the meat. That off-hand palm will not only hold the meat while you cut, it will serve as a guide and help keep your blade horizontal. Then move your knife over the thin part until the blade touches the thick part, about halfway up its total height. (With a typical breast, that's about 1-1/2" from the edge of the thick side.) Then make a horizontal cut under the palm of your off-hand and stop the cut about a 1/2" before it cuts through the breast. (Try and stay aware of your off-hand so you don't cut yourself. That awareness will help keep your knife horizontal in the cut.) Now open the flap you've cut, like a book. The breast is about 1" or a little more wider in diameter, about 3/4 thinner at its thickest point, and is butterflied. Good on you.

Breast is very lean. Think of this as, "it's already dry and I haven't even cooked it yet." The remedy is to put some extra moisture in with marinating or brining.

We're going to try a very Mediterranean chicken, your wife will like. It will go well with herbed rice and simple vegetables or salad. Let's start with 6 boneless, skinless breasts -- butterflied.

The simplest and best marinade for cooking chicken pieces is seasoned buttermilk or yogurt.

1-1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup lemonade, limeade or fruit juice (for sweetness)
2 tbs table salt
2 tbs paprika (for color)
1 tbs Worcestershire (because you like it)
1 tbs hot sauce

Combine and mix. Place the breasts in the marinade, mix to make the chicken is well coated, and allow to marinate for 30 minutes to 4 hours, refrigerated. 2 hours is ideal.

While the chicken is marinating, make the following seasoning rub:

3 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs fresh, coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbs smoked paprika (if you can get it), or sweet paprika
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp fines herbes

Combine and mix

While your grill is cold, clean your grates thoroughly. Clean grates make everything easier -- especially with very lean meats like chicken and fish. Oil the cold, clean grates, thoroughly with plain vegetable oil (not Pam!). Preheat the grill so it will cook "hot." When the grates are fully preheated, brush them thoroughly clean and oil again. You may use a high-temp brush for this if you like.

Return to the chicken. Remove it from the marinade, wipe most of the marinade off, but leave the surface moist. Season the breasts with the rub, but not too generously. Pretend the rub is all salt, and you want to leave the chicken slightly under-salted. Bring the chicken, a couple of cut lemons or limes, a small bowl with a couple of tablespoons of dried oregano, and a small bowl with the remainder of the rub.

Brush the grates clean, and oil them again. Yes. I know that's three times. In theory, those grates are clean, slick and temporarily "seasoned." Good, you've learned something about grilling if nothing else. Also, by now the grill should be about as hot as it gets.

Lay the chicken on the grates presentation side down, and cook just long enough to get some good grill marks and a little color on the surface. This will take between 90 seconds and 3 minutes, depending on the grill. It's your grill, I can't tell you exactly how long this will take.

At the exact moment the chicken marks, it should also start to "release" from the well-oiled grill; allowing you to turn it with your tongs without tearing. If you feel a lot of stick, don't tear the chicken. Instead give it an extra minute. If it still sticks, try and loosen it by knocking it sideways with the back of your tongs. If it still sticks, enough with Mister Nice Guy already. Just use some profanity and turn it.

Squeeze a little lemon juice on the breasts, sprinkle a little seasoning, then crumble a little oregano between your fingers and sprinkle that. Give it a few seconds, then repeat the lemon and oregano but skip the seasoning. Using two fingers push into one of the breasts. If it pushes back, it's done. All in all, the chicken breasts should take well under 10 minutes to cook completely through.

Allow the breasts to rest 3 to 5 minutes before serving. This is part of the cooking time during which the residual heat will finish cooking the center of the breast, and the juices will distribute themselves evenly. The meat proteins will start to relax off the heat, and the breast will become substantially more tender. So, it's not "piping hot." So what? It's perfectly cooked, moist and tender. Besides, warm chicken tastes better than hot.

Just before plating, add a bit more lemon juice. One last piece of advice: Don't argue with your wife, you can't win.

post #12 of 16
I agree with Miraz - that will get you the moistest result. Flatten it, season (stuff with spinach if liked), wrap it into a cylinder shape then into cling film, poach, finish off in olive oil and butter to get some colour onto it, sprinle with lemon juice. yummers :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #13 of 16
Well there is certainly plenty of advice on how to cook it, so give it a try. I LOVE grilled chicken.

I'll comment on sauces for the finished product. Of course, good ol' tomato based barbecue sauce is great with grilled chicken, here's a couple more ideas.

Folks have mentioned saesoning with lemon, one thing I like to make is sort of a piccata sauce:

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallot ( I 've made it with green onions, too )
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 - 3 T capers

Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. When hot, sweat the shallots and garlic for about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Crank up the heat, pour in the wine and reduce by about half. Add the shallot - garlic mix back in, add the capers and lemon juice, let heat for a minute or so. Remove from heat, stir in the other half of the butter. Salt and pepper to taste. This sort of sauce is actually better if done as a pan reduction if the chicken is cooked in the pan.

This next sauce is prepared in similar fashion, but instead of wine use chicken broth, and instead of capers about 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms, no lemon juice. Same technique for the most part, though, and you'll need more butter. Sweat the shallots and garlic, remove from pan. Increase heat to medium, add a couple of tablespoons of butter and an additional splash of olive oil if desired. Brown the mushrooms, remove from pan. Add the chicken broth, reduce by about half, stir the veggies back in. With the added butter used for the 'shrooms, you probably won't need to swirl in a pat of butter at the end.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #14 of 16
Mmmmmmmm chicken!
(I'm trying to post a video recipe but keep getting errors:( )
post #15 of 16
what about doing satays or kebabs, just cut the breasts/thighs in to cubes or strips and you can marinade them or leave them plain and season with s&p and herbs put them on to soaked bamboo skewers with or with out sliced veges and then brush with alittle olive oil and grill they only take about 10 minutes to cook , serve them up with a bowl of rice or noodles orcouscous
and your favourite sauce, pomodoro, peanut, thai lime and ginger,plum chutney, teriyaki, raita anyway you get the idea and last but not least make sure you have some for all of us :p
when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

post #16 of 16
I've got a weird method I use, only when I've got some spare time, or just bored.
I use this fried chicken recipe, very basic and easy.
But what I do is marinade the chicken first, for as long as possible. anything goes, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegars, various tasty liquids, and so on.

when the chicken gets is first sear in the oil, only yellowish dark, not golden or brown yet, I take it out, and grill it.
All the fat drips down, and it becomes twice as crispy.

yum yum.

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